Towards an Alternative to Globalization By Sergey A. Stroev Global Research, November 21, 2009

Towards an Alternative to Globalization

By Sergey A. Stroev

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Global Research, November 21, 2009
Civilization Alternative (original Russian)

This text will be presented at the Third All-Russia Anti-Global Forum, Moscow, December 2009

It is easier to manage people when they have low needs. Simply because low needs are easier to satisfy. <...> Thus the dictatorship of show business is a part of the state machine. Previously, rock music, as well as earlier the church, were separated from the state, but now they are part of it. The results are well known. Radislava Anchevskaya

There is a popular expression (attributed to various famous authors), that any "anti-" is dissolved in that, against which it is "anti-". This phrase has a profound meaning, which consists in the fact that to unite in a bare denial of anything is counter-productive and doomed to defeat. A viable alternative may be only an independent project that contains a constructive idea and a program for implementation.

Accordingly, the Third Forum of Anti-Global Resistance diverts from the themes of criticism and exposure of the essence of imperialist globalization and seeks to create its own meaningful project, its own civilizational alternative to globalism. As a part of this task, we would like to present our positions in a succinct form.

1. Economy for man, not man for economy.

The logic of modern civilization, which represents global capitalism in the final stage of capital concentration and expansion of markets of raw materials, labor and sales, is profit maximization as the basic task of production. This approach appears to be a form of fetishism, a kind of religious ministry to a deified material idol. It breeds widespread poverty and actual purposeful genocide of the "economically unjustified" populations of entire regions of the world, escalation of class and ethnic conflicts, extremely wasteful and historically irresponsible squandering of nonrenewable natural resources, destruction of traditional cultures and moral standards, imposing standards of consumer thinking and behavior that lead to cultural and intellectual degradation of mankind, denaturalization of consumer goods, leading to an increase in the number of diseases, including the genetic degradation of the human species.

As an alternative, we propose a planned system of production, entirely subordinate to the purposes and objectives of Life and Life Reproduction, meeting the needs of a particular country in the agricultural, industrial, and information products required for the stable maintenance of a decent standard of living. Such a type of production requires as a prerequisite the nationalization of major industries and a significant preponderance of public (state) ownership over private ownership. The existence of such production should imply stable, sustainable self-reproduction, rather than unlimited growth and expansion.

Of course, this approach does not exclude the differences in the levels of development and consumption between developed regions and those lagging behind, but, at least, the present absurd situation of exterminating the "economically unjustified" population will be impossible, given that population has everything needed for sustainable life reproduction on their land.

2. The unconditional priority of the principles of national statehood and sovereignty over the international law, the authority of international organizations and the rights of transnational corporations.

Today, the capitalist system, which has reached the stage of consolidating the world in a single market, seeks to eliminate national borders and make the world completely "free" in the sense of free movement of goods, raw materials, capital and labor, thus totally fine-tuning it with the interests of capitalist profit. This results in withering away of the nationhood, associated with the interests of specific nations and populations of specific areas - that is, with the interests of socially organized populations. In parallel, a number of roles and prerogatives, at first monopolized by the state, have transferred to the extraterritorial power centers (especially TNCs), unrelated to the interests of specific people and specific areas. We observe the formation of private armies and quasi-police security forces of commercial corporations. This situation is fraught with the disappearance of law as a category and the absolutely uncontrollable and irresponsible use of armed violence by financial clans.

A special tragedy of the situation is that modern states, being inherently capitalist, primarily express the will of the bourgeois class, and, in the interests of this class, are losing out to multinational corporate structures with virtually no fighting and resistance.

We propose the shift to the revival of the sovereignty of nation-states, which is possible only if the first item on the program – the nationalization of the basic means of production - is implemented. Only in this case the state would become national, not in word, but in deed, that is expressing the will of the nation, rather than the bourgeois class. And in the modern world such a common nation-state, beyond any class interests, can exist only on the basis of a classless socialist society. Only in this case, the monopoly on armed violence remains under the control of people, and there may be reproduction of the legal relationship (although the legal principle is not absolute and should not apply to all spheres of public life, see below).

3. Priority of preserving the natural environment and cultural sites over their consumer use.

The domination of the present-day capitalocratic principle leads to the overexploitation of unique and irreplaceable objects of nature and culture, wherever the possibility of their utilization gives hope for profit. In the best case, it admits the prevention of their complete destruction based on the argument of maintaining them as a source of long-term business. The argument that they can exist in their own right is completely ignored. Everything is subjected to the paradigm of consumption, formed by advertising for the sake of the increase of business profits.

Rejecting the logic of the subordination of Life to the interest of profit-making, we also deny the principle of the rule of consumption. Of course, the monuments of nature and culture can and should be used for the benefit of man, but only in such a manner that does not contradict the conditions of their conservation and does not cause harm.

4. Preservation of national cultures as an alternative to the unification of the world.

Providing free movement of goods, raw materials and labor in order to maximize profits, capitalocracy rapidly destroys the diversity of human cultures. In place of a flowering diversity of cultures there emerges a unified space of faceless housing, English-language pop music on radio and television, advertising brands, unified fast food, consumer lifestyle, corporate standards of conduct. The masses of people, wandering the world as a free-moving labor, lose their national and cultural identity and become a depersonalized "gray race". The notorious "multiculturalism" does not save the case, transforming cities into a sort of circus buffoonery or Babylonian fair. Such "multiculturalism" does not only protect, but even more destroys the identity of national cultures, randomly mixing their elements and destroying their internal unity.

We assert that cultural diversity is the key to development, and, on the contrary, the unification or chaotic confusion of cultures inevitably leads to cultural impoverishment and cultural degradation of humanity. We also believe that each national culture is an internal unity, and only in this inner unity of each of its elements it becomes meaningful and imbued with spiritual life. Various aspects of culture, such as elements of clothing or traditional law, have a deep inner connection. Breaking these ties, placing cultural elements, torn from their medium, in an alien context, makes them meaningless and in fact deprives them of their cultural value.

Culture in the broadest sense is a way of life of an ethnic group. It is inseparable from the social relations characteristic of this ethnic group, its accommodating landscape, methods and nature of production. The destruction of ethnic boundaries destroys the ethnicity, and, consequently, the culture as a way of its being.

Cultural development is achieved through diversity, and this diversity requires a certain (though certainly not absolute) level of isolation of cultures from each other. Cultural contacts, occurring between peoples as subjects of cultures, of course, enrich these cultures, but they should not exceed the level at which they turn into fusion and confusion, leading to the unification and reduction of cultural diversity. A national culture should have the time for processing and ethnification of the experience, obtained from external contacts, otherwise these contacts become destructive for it.

Therefore, we oppose the policies that encourage the migration processes and ethnic mixing and support limiting migration and maintaining, to the extent possible, the constancy of ethnic composition of each specific territory.

5. The same applies to the conservation of biological, anthropological and racial diversity of humanity.

6. Traditional social structure as an alternative to social atomization.

Traditional social structures ensure multiple and diverse connections and relationships between people, governed by education and customs, rather than legal norms. In this context, a particular importance is given to traditional social institutions (especially family) and the traditional social roles, specific to a particular society and a specific culture. The presence of such multiple informal relations between human beings, on the one hand, is the key to preservation and transmission of a national culture and unwritten life experiences from generation to generation. On the other hand, it protects the individual and the society as a whole from the arbitrary actions of the state and from the manipulation of consciousness.

In an effort to transform the human material into ideal subjects of labor and consumption, the capitalocracy deliberately destroys the ties that unite people into a social organism, it destroys culture, which is inexpedient in terms of commerce, divides generations in order to reduce the formative influence of parents on the child and enhance the impact of mass media, schools and other educational means under its control. The purpose of capitalocracy is the maximum atomization of society, maximum alienation of man from man, and, in the limit, the reduction of the diversity of human relationships to the standards of a legal contract.

Particular efforts in this regard are concentrated on three areas. First, capitalocracy seeks to combat all forms of non-commercial art. An attempt is made, and not without success, to completely replace the artistic creativity with commercial pop industry, which is fundamentally not only extremely primitive, but also entirely high-tech. Second, there is a consistent leveling of gender differences, i.e. the differences in the social behavior of genders. In parallel, under the hypocritical slogan of "protection from domestic violence" the capitalocracy-controlled state assumes the role of a mediator and supervisor of the relationships between man and woman in marriage and outside it. The result is the destruction of the family as the basic unit of society. Third, under the same pretext of "protection from domestic violence", the state positions itself as a mediator and controller between parents and children, deliberately undermining the authority of parents and virtually making family education and cultural transmission from generation to generation impossible.

We put forward and defend the opposite values. We believe that only non-profit art, which arises from the inside urge for creativity, rather than from the need to satisfy someone's demands, is full-fledged. We believe that non-conventional, non-legal, informal forms of relationships between people not only have a right to exist, but should be protected and developed. Therefore, we favor unformatted arts and informal cultures. And of all the informal ties and non-contractual relations, we put at the forefront the most traditional forms as time-tested, rooted in the culture, most stable and able to most effectively resist the destructive influences.

As a prerequisite for socio-cultural and organic unity we assert the absolute value of those types of social behavior, which are developed by culture, such as the historically established interactions between senior and junior, teacher and student, parents and children, between relatives, between friends, etc.

We affirm the naturalness of the connection between traditional gender patterns of social behavior and biological sex, and regard the disruption of this connection (under whatever specious and "socialist" slogans it is made) as totally destructive from the cultural and biological points of view.

We affirm the value of traditional social institutions, especially the traditional family, and believe that government intervention in the internal relations of family members is possible only in exceptional cases, but not everyday life. We believe that the destructive interference of state and public structures in the internal affairs of the family is a much greater evil than the notorious "domestic violence" and the hypocritical struggle with it which this interference is disguised in.

We are aware that the traditional social relations we uphold are incompatible with capitalocracy, which is why we set as the sixth paragraph of our program the protection of traditional forms of sociality, and above all put forward the need for transition from the economy of profit to the economy of Life and Life reproduction, which involves the socialization of production and elimination of the very basis of capitalocracy. It is better to pull the bad grass with the roots.

7. Traditional religions as forms of collective spiritual life, calibrated by millennia of experience of many generations.

At the same time, we by no means see the main threat to spiritual tradition in atheism, materialism and rationalist philosophy, but in commercial pseudo-religions, constructed as a sphere of ritual and psychological services. We are primarily against the muddy wave of pop mysticism, pseudo-religious commercial businesses in the spirit of New Age, as well as ecumenical and renovation currents, trying to adjust the traditional religion to the standards of consumer society.

One of our tasks is the assimilation of traditional forms of spirituality by those informal cultures and subcultures, which oppose the pop-industry anti-culture.

8. Freedom of intellectual and artistic creativity as an alternative to "intellectual property".

The so-called "copyright", originally conceived as its name implies, to protect the rights of the author, has now taken completely distorted forms and serves the interests not of the author, but the capitalocracy machine. The system of "intellectual property" today postulates the existence of property rights not only for discovery and technology, but virtually for any text and visual image. And in most cases, the right-holder of this property does not have the slightest relation to its authorship. It reaches the absurdity, when the rights of "intellectual property" are registered for the works of long dead authors.

The consistent application of the principle of intellectual property in its modern capitalocratic interpretation makes the development of science, art and culture in general virtually impossible. Any scientific discovery is based on the synthesis of knowledge accumulated by predecessors. The copyright ban on the use of the developments of predecessors makes it impossible to promote any further development. The same can be said about art: any original work grows out of the surrounding cultural context. If the surrounding context is cut into fragments and prohibited to use, live creativity becomes impossible. An artist's place is taken by a team of lawyers, verifying the compliance and non-compliance of a combination of sounds with the previously obtained licenses and able to prove the illegality of a piece of art. What can work in such conditions is rubber-stamping commercial pop music, rather than real art. Thus with the help of the laws of "intellectual property" the capitalocracy is able to deal with the non-profit art not only by its financial strangulation, but by direct violence – by sending authors to jail.

The copyright and patent law, however, are not only about the development of arts and basic sciences. They obstruct the development of civilization in all fields. Promising discoveries and inventions are bought up and buried by corporations in order not to create competition for their goods, whose production is already established and profitable. Drug prices are jacked up hundredfold and thousandfold, because the patent law eliminates competition and monopolizes the market. The developing countries are caught in the eternal neo-colonial dependence, being deprived of the opportunity to adopt the achievements of progress and having no funds for buying licenses.

There appears an absurd situation where people know how to produce a cheap medicine and can easily establish their own production, but under the international law cannot make it without a license and die of epidemics.

We stand on the position of unrestricted freedom to produce, copy, distribute, modify and process information of any nature, whether a scientific paper, a technical development or an artistic work, except for the information that is socially dangerous or destructive in terms of moral character. We recognize certain (though limited) rights of the author, but categorically refuse to accept the rights of the owner of a patent or license, if they are not the author himself.

The copyright law should not be standardized, and the right of the author of a literary text is absolutely not the same thing as the right of the author of a technical invention, and certainly is not the same as a registered trademark.

We recognize the right of the author of an artistic or scientific text to require the reference to his/her name when this text is quoted or distributed, as well as the identity of the text signed by his/her name. If the text has been subjected to editing or modifying, it should be stated that a text by a certain author is taken as the basis for the present text; it has been modified and is not the original. With this indication the modified text may be freely distributed and used. We reject the right of the author of a text to impose restrictions on its copying and distribution, if the author of this text or its fragments is indicated, as well as on its modification, if the fact of modification and inconsistency with the original is indicated.

We recognize the right of an inventor to a material reward for his/her invention, either in the form of a lump-sum repayment by the society, or in the form of a short-term monopoly on its use. However, after that any invention becomes in the public domain and can be used without limit as well as developed by other inventors.

The proposed approach is progressive as it removes the completely artificial limitation that "intellectual property" puts in the way of progress. Like any progressive movement, our approach is doomed to ultimate victory, since, being implemented in one country, it inevitably leads to the multifold superiority of this country's development and willy-nilly forces others to follow its example.

9. We favor the strict supervision by the public organizations of any technology being introduced into the sphere of public administration and management.

With the introduction of various hardware, especially electronic, in management, a situation is created, in which the technical capabilities and limitations (the logic of the machine) are in contradiction with the constitutional rights of individuals and indeed triumph over them. The simplest example is the electronic system, which automatically processes documents and may require of a person parameters, which he/she may not have and not obliged by law to have (e.g. TIN, credit card number, etc.), or offer alternatives, none of which are suitable. To argue with the electronic system is impossible. It creates a situation of domination of technology over civil rights. Particularly threatening are those electronic systems which automatically accumulate and process the electronic information about citizens and create their electronic profiles.

We stand for a substantial restriction of electronic monitoring and control and strict public control over them. In particular, we categorically oppose to awarding people personal numbers. The number should be identified only with a specific document, such as a passport, but not with its owner. We stand for the categorical prohibition of the summation of information about people in a common database from different departmental sources, unless there is a direct need for it, for the technical dissociation of this kind of databases, including the dissociation of documents, under the numbers of which the information about a person is stored. For example, medical information should be stored only in the medical database under the medical record number, not matching with the data stored under the number of a bank card, passport data, etc. The purpose of this separation of information is to limit the technical capabilities of the state and, especially, non-state actors, to violate the individual right to private life.

We would also like to alert the public to monitor the timely destruction of personal information about a person in departmental, company and other databases after the cessation of actual and immediate need for its use, with a view of compulsory depersonalization of the disused numbers of his/her documents, etc.

We support the categorical rejection of the implantation of microchips in human body except in cases of extreme necessity for medical reasons. We also favor the ban on placing RFID-chips in consumer goods and installation of sensors. We oppose the introduction of bioidentification and electronically readable elements in the personal documents.

And, of course, we strongly advocate the legal prohibition of wiretapping by government services prior to its judicial authorization.

We are, therefore, for the creation of a strong social counterweight to balance the technical capacity of public and commercial services of collecting, storing and analyzing personal information about citizens.

10. We assert the priority of rights of the majority against minority rights in all respects: economic, cultural, national, etc., as well as the priority of public and national interests over group, clan and personal ones.

The modern capitalocratic society, deliberately destroying the unity of the social organism, specifically encourages minorities, opposing them to the interests of the majority. Ultimately, this leads to stripping the entire society into a set of minorities lobbying the narrow sectarian interests of their clans. The purpose of this policy is obvious: the capitalocratic oligarchy is numerically a tiny minority and can stably maintain their position only in a society fragmented into minorities, in which they are the strongest minority.

We are aware that every member of the society in some respects belongs to the majority, and in some other respects - to a minority. The principal difference in the positions is that the capitalocratic system accentuates the features of belonging to a minority, making them socially prestigious or lucrative, and obscures the features of identification with the majority, making them undesirable and unprofitable. This results in a subjective self-identification of an individual with one of the minorities, rather than with the socio-forming majority. Our approach is diametrically opposed to this. It is to encourage and promote the features of identity with the majority and level the features of attributing oneself to minorities.

Summarizing the above ten theses, we should say, that we speak from the position of domination of man, his biological, social, cultural and spiritual needs over the technosphere, state machine and impersonal economic forces. We strongly refuse to position ourselves on the political line between the "right" and "left" imposed on us by the capitalocracy. Speaking from the standpoint of socialization and nationalization of the means of production, natural resources and intellectual property, from the position of domination of the planning elements in the economy over the market, we do not consider binding ourselves with the typical "left" love of minorities, the struggle for gender equality (not to be confused with legal equality) and hatred of the traditional "patriarchal" social norms and institutions. On the other hand, being supporters of traditional religion, morality and family values, we do not believe it mandatory to burden ourselves with the typical "right-wing" absolutisation of economic freedom and individual rights to the detriment of the people as a whole.

We are located outside of the linear "right-left" political system, dictated by the world capitalocracy, and propose our own draft of the civilization development, involving, as opposed to globalist concepts, prudent self-restraint of society in material production and consumption, but unlimited freedom in creative, intellectual and spiritual self-development .

Translated by Helen V. Shelestiuk

Announcement: Readers are invited to attend the Third All-Russia Anti-Global Forum to be held in Moscow on 3-4 December 2009 (, email: to Elena Borisova)